Direct mail is experiencing something of a renaissance, as marketing departments look for new ways to delight customers who are suffering from digital fatigue and tuning out online communications.
In particular, handwritten direct mail can provide businesses with a valuable opportunity to capture people’s attention, trigger an emotive response and nurture a meaningful connection. Consider the last time you received a hand-addressed piece of post, it’s associated with care and thoughtfulness.
The challenge is planning and executing your own handwritten direct mail campaign to surprise and delight those most important to your business. We know this is uncharted territory for many - which is why we’ve created this helpful guide!
The first step to any direct mail campaign is identifying your goal. Why are you launching this activity, and what do you hope to achieve?
Establish clear objectives, such as:
Now for the second step. If you don’t set specific targets from the start, you’ll never be satisfied with a campaign’s results. It’s essential you identify tangible metrics such as:
Handwritten direct mail campaigns sit at the opposite end of the spectrum to batch and blast door drop campaigns. This shouldn’t be a random collection of addresses pulled together on a whim. It’s time to get your magnifying glasses on your CRM.
To ensure your recipient feels a sense of authenticity upon opening the envelope, focus on specific segments to match your specific campaign purpose, such as:
Following GDPR, marketers are having to adapt to new rules around data confidentiality. However, the DMA states that businesses don’t need to acquire explicit consent before sending recipients direct mail, so long as they can claim legitimate interest.
Every marketing campaign needs a timescale, so what are you working towards?
Whatever date you’re focused on, plan backwards. Consider when your note should land to get the best response. For instance, if you’re offering customers a special seasonal offer, schedule your note to land at least a couple of weeks before the discount deadline to give people a chance to purchase.
Direct mail can be surprisingly nimble in response to events in the customer journey. Set up frequent campaigns to be turned around in 72 hours, based on certain triggers:
You can also improve the timeliness of your direct mail by integrating it within a multi-channel marketing campaign, so that post is complemented by digital communications or a phone call.
First impressions get your direct mail from the doormat into an individual’s hands, opened and read, so you need to make it count. Handwritten envelopes massively outperform all other channels, achieving close to 100% open rates. Really, there’s no contest.
Direct mail costs traditionally include design, materials, printing and postage. While you could slap a few words on a multipack of cards, mail them all out and see what happens, mediocre presentation is likely to lead to mediocre results.
Get the best possible results with a handwritten direct mail campaign that represents both your company image and your attitude towards customers.
Avoid heavy branding and lead with quality. Not only do beautifully scribed notes on premium stationery portray your business in a positive light, they also treat recipients in a thoughtful, considered and personal manner. So it’s a win win.
Add value in some way, teach them something or make them smile:
A huge pile of blank stationery and envelopes can be daunting to even the most dedicated office intern. Handwriting direct mail is a resource-heavy task, and once which requires a steady hand and creative flair. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, and flowing calligraphy isn’t a universal skill.
Handwritten direct mail campaigns also require a high level of organisation. Personalised content tends to loses all of its appeal if names are misspelt or addresses are mixed up. In an ideal world, you want to combine the order of a CRM with the warmth of human touch.
Luckily, Inkpact’s online platform makes it easy to send a handwritten direct mail campaign without you ever needing to pick up a fountain pen! Tech can empower your business to utilise high levels of personalisation in a scalable way, ultimately establishing stronger customer relationships and achieving better business outcomes. This switch from a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to more bespoke tactics can truly transform your results.
Tech can empower your business to utilise high levels of personalisation in a scalable way, ultimately establishing better customer relationships and achieving stronger business outcomes. This switch from a 'one-size-fits-all' customer retention approach to more bespoke tactics can truly transform your results.
Want proof that your handwritten campaign generated a positive ROI? It's time to get tracking. For our best practices on tracking and testing your customer retention campaign check out our guide here.
Average order value increase
Redemption rate increase
Repeat purchase increase
Use the advice in this guide to fill out your own Campaign Brief to define your campaign goals as well as review and reflect on your results.
We cover: Metrics, Audience, Timescales & Results.